Youth Voice in Nigerian School-based Management Committees

Bashiru Bako Umar, Steven Eric Krauss, Asnarulkhadi Abu Samah, Jamaliah Abdul Hamid


In Nigeria, School-Based Management Committees (SBMCs) aim to provide an opportunity for all stakeholders, particularly the vulnerable groups in the school’s host communities such as young people and women to partake in school governance. Research on the experiences of youth voice in the committees is scant, however, as much of the existing literature on SBMCs focuses on program outcomes. Using qualitative research interviews, observations, and document analysis, this study addressed this gap by exploring how youth participate and express themselves in two SBMCs in Niger State, Nigeria. The findings, which were derived from 19 youth and adult participants, were drawn from SBMC members out of which 12 were youth between the ages 13 and 25, while 7 were adults aged 40 and above. The participants revealed that youth committee members expressed their voice in the committees through participating in a number of committee activities. Specifically, the youth participated in decision-making during meetings, aided in the construction of committee projects, undertook administrative/managerial functions and monitored the committee’s projects. They also participated in revenue generation, planning, school visits and supervision, advocacy, and sensitization campaigns.


Youth Voice, School-based Management, Youth-Adult Partnership

Full Text:



Adediran, S. (2012). Assessment of effectiveness of the school-based management system in Bauchi, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger States, Nigeria. Abuja: UNICEF Nigeria.

Akinola, O. B. (2009). School-based management committees: The Nigerian experience. The International Journal of Learning, 16(8), 421-430.

Ayeni, A. J., & Ibukun, W. O. (2013). A conceptual model for school-based management operation and quality assurance in Nigerian secondary schools. Journal of Education and Learning, 2(2), 36-43.

Bandur, A. (2012). School-based management developments and partnership: Evidence from Indonesia. International Journal of Educational Development, 32(2), 316-328.

Bandur, A. (2008). A study of the implementation of school-based management in Flores primary schools in Indonesia. University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia.

Barnett, E. (2012). An analysis of community involvement in primary schools in Malawi. International Journal of Educational Development, 33(5), 497-509.

Bernard, H. (2005). The power of an untapped resources: Exploring youth representation on your board or committee. Alaska: Association of Alaska School Board.

Buck, P. S. (2013). Youth participation in governance: Creating youth-friendly communities. Halifax: H R M.

Caldwell, B. J. (2005). School-based management: Education policy series 3. Paris: UNESCO.

Camino, L., & Zeldin, S. (2002). From Periphery to Center: Pathways for Youth Civic Engagement in the Day-To-Day Life of Communities. Applied Developmental Science, 6(4), 213–220.

Checkoway, B. (2011). What is youth participation? Children and Youth Services Review, 33(2), 340-345.

Fielding, M. (2001). Beyond the rhetoric of student voice: New departures or new constraints in the transformation of 21st century schooling? FORUM, 43(2), 100–110.

Gamage, D., & Zajda, J. (2005). Decentralization and school-based management: A comparative study of self-governing schools models. Educational Practice and Theory, 27(2), 35-58.

Gershberg, A. I. (1999). Fostering effective parental participation in education: Lessons from a comparison of reform processes in Nicaragua and Mexico. World Development, 27(4), 753-771.

Hart, R. (2008). Stepping Back from “The Ladder”: Reflections on a Model of Participatory Work with Children. Netherlands: Springer.

Kano State Ministry of Education. (2012). School-based management committee guide book. Lagos: Global Plus.

Maxwell, J. A. (2005). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Maynard, K. k. (2008). Fostering youth engagement: A model of youth voice, empowerment, and participation. Texas: A & M University.

Middleton, E. (2006). Youth participation in the UK: Bureaucratic disaster or triumph of child rights? Children, Youth and Environments, 16(2), 180-190.

Mitra, D. L. (2009). Collaborating with students: Building youth-adult partnerships in schools. American Journal of Education, 115(3), 407–436.

Mitra, D. L. (2003). Student voice in school reform: Reframing student-teacher relationships. McGill Journal of Education, 38(2), 289–304.

Ogundele, J. A., & Adelabu, M. A. (2009). Improving pupils’ quality through community advocacy: The role of school-based management committee (SBMC). The Journal of International Social Research, 2(8), 285-295.

Okojie, C. (2011). Formative evaluation of United Nations girls’ education initiative country report-Nigeria. New York: UNGEI.

Parker, L., & Raihani, R. (2011). Democratizing Indonesia through education? Community participation in Islamic schooling. Educational Management Administration & Leadership, 39(6), 712-732.

Shatkin, G., & Gershberg, A. I. (2007). Empowering parents and building communities the role of school-based councils in educational governance and accountability. Urban Education, 42(6), 582-615.

Tarifa, T. A. (2006). Level of youth voice in the decision-making process within the 4-H youth development program as perceived by state 4-H program leaders, state 4-H youth development specialists, and 4-H agents/educators. Louisiana State University.

UNICEF/FME. (2012). Trainee's manual for training of school-based management committees on whole school development project. Abuja: Federal Ministry of Education.

Wong, N. T., Marc A. Zimmerman, & Parker, E. A. (2010). A Typology of youth participation and empowerment for child and adolescent health promotion. American Journal of Community Psychology, 46(1-2), 100-114.

Wright, S. (1999). Youth as Decision-Makers: strategies for Youth Engagement in Governance and Decision-Making in Recreation. Toronto: Laidlaw Foundation.

Zeldin, S. (2004). Youth as agents of adult and community development: Mapping the processes and outcomes of youth engaged in organizational governance. Applied Developmental Science, 8(2), 75-90.

Zeldin, S., Camino, L., & Calvert, M. (2007). Toward an understanding of youth in community governance: Policy priorities and research directions. Analoise Psicologica, 1(25), 77–95.

Zeldin, S., Krauss, S. E., Collura, J., Lucchesi, M., & Sulaiman, A. H. (2014). Conceptualizing and measuring youth–adult partnership in community programs: A cross-national study. American Journal of Community Psychology, 54(3-4), 337–347.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2013-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

International Journal of Education and Literacy Studies  

You may require to add the '' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.